The urban layout of the project recognizes in the Giudecca island the presence of two heterogeneous scales: the one of the dense fabric on the North side of the island, and the more sparse one of the industrial precincts overlooking the Laguna. The ex-Junghans precinct is thus opened up to the city, donating to it a new outlook on the extraordinary Laguna landscape, with a long square which overlooks the garden of the existing school and a new canal which crosses the south residential fabric. If the complexity and the historical stratification of the city are often deformed by the pink lenses of its tourist image, the resistance to architectural Kitsch has to find sophisticated strategies, which force us to look with new eyes to the problems of modernity versus permanence. Would you like to change the default languge for Archello?

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Domus Domus. Cino Zucchi. Five housing blocks in Venice. On the island of Giudecca, the abandoned industrial area of the Junghans factory has been turned into a residential neighborhood. Cino Zucchi, winner of the competition for its development, designed five variations on the theme of housing.

Text by Mirko Zardini. From Piazzale Roma, those arriving in Venice by car should then take the same route. From the airport you need only reach Piazzale Roma, and then board the same line of vaporetti.

The directions are clear, and useful especially to the non-Venetian. Evidently many of the potential buyers applying to the real estate agents who are handling the sale of apartments in some of the new buildings erected on the island of Giudecca in the area formerly occupied by the Junghans factories, are not in fact Venetian.

The complex of buildings, in part already occupied and that can today be visited, is the outcome of a competition by invitation announced in by a private enterprise in collaboration with the City of Venezia. The winner was Cino Zucchi. A general plan for the whole area an urban improvement scheme was developed from the competition project. Part of the new housing is earmarked for semi-subsidised housing, some of it is for university dormitories, and another part of it for sale.

This, then, is the crux of the operation. On the one hand it proposes a correction and extension of the urban fabric; and on the other, it emphasizes the search for a particular character for each building, somewhere between environmentalism, townscape and the picturesque. The new complex is situated at the centre of the island. To the north the plan takes up the pattern of the existing fabric, in an intelligent micro-town-planning surgery.

The presence of the new buildings is diluted in the network of existing routes, extending and reinforcing it through new openings and connections. Some of the industrial buildings have thus been maintained, cut, and transformed, or substituted by other buildings insisting on the same foundations. To the south on the other hand nothing remains of the previous industrial structure, now replaced by four buildings in a row.

The new square and the new canal, facing the lagoon, offer a hitherto unseen view and give access to a landscape until now little appreciated. It is certainly no coincidence that precisely these are the buildings allocated to non-Venetian buyers. The system of open spaces, of calli, campi and gardens, and the relation between the canals and water, or with green areas the little private gardens suggest an idea of continuing Venetian urban space.

The situation is very different to that of the nearby Sacca Fisola, where the public housing estates built after the war look as if they had been lifted from the anonymous suburbs of the mainland Venetian towns of the s, with their little flowerbeds and lawns to protect the buildings.

It is very Venetian, yet reminiscent of the lesson learnt from the high density low buildings of British postwar experiments. This is only in part the result of that urban strategy which from the s saw movement and heterogeneity as a value to be contrasted with the monotonous uniformity of unvaried projects, and which caused a single project often to be broken down and fragmented among different architects. The imposed simulated a process of growth or transformation, similar to that of a certain period of the historical city itself, in aspiring to re-establish, or only to suggest, a social, economic and political, hence also urban, complexity.

In the case of the new Judeca Nova complex, this intention is evident in the decision to appoint different architects to develop the urban project. The strategy is explicitly stated, and developed with lucidity and intelligence. The five buildings each pursue a particular line of character. And this character is not derived from a reflection on content, programmes or end-uses. Rather, it is the reflection of external conditions, of Venetian atmospheres, suggestions, environments. Next to a brick building stands another brick building; the converted industrial building echoes its original character.

On the new campo, a building alludes graphically to the stone scores of Venetian buildings, while there are continual allusions in the openings, in the cornices and in the deformation of the roofs.

This operation on character is primarily one conducted on the image of the buildings. And naturally it is conducted through the manipulation of a language that alludes to Venetianness, but in a detached manner, filtered through the experiences of Italian architecture of the s and 60s, but also with an eye on Siza and Seven Holl. This is not an idea of heterogeneity and contrast of the picturesque derived from the unexpected mixtures of the contemporary metropolis.

Instead it is a slight, elegant and sophisticatedly picturesque view of the modern, immersed in the atmospheres of Venice, in a simulated city. It conveys a sentimental vision of Venice that updates its image, extending it and broadening it, and enriching it with all those linguistic experiments with the modern from which Venice has been largely excluded.

At the same time he delivers the brilliant conclusion of a story begun a few decades ago, with the not very distant house on the Zattere, designed by Ignazio Gardella. An architecture thought in depth, as a structure, has to decompose in a thousand perceptions which have to be reconstructed by another subject, as a different structure, not ours any more.

The area with the Junghans factory buildings before the redevelopmen. View from the west side of the G1-G2 building looking onto the Rio Morto. View from the northeast. Deep loggias of steel and wood reach over the inner courtyard.

The old industrial structure has been converted to residential use. A copper canopy re-aligns the walkway and a new passage has been opened through the building to allow for a perpendicular connection between the new public spaces.

It looks onto a piazza that has been refurbished in line with the general architectural plan. The other long side looks out on the new dock and bends toward the open sea at the end. Latest on Architecture. Latest on Domus. China Germany India Mexico, Central America and Caribbean Sri Lanka Korea icon-camera close icon-comments icon-down-sm icon-download icon-facebook icon-heart icon-heart icon--mobile-logo icon-next-sm icon-next icon-pinterest icon-play icon-plus icon-prev-sm icon-prev Search icon-twitter icon-views icon-instagram.


D residential building, ex Junghans area

Domus Domus. Cino Zucchi. Five housing blocks in Venice. On the island of Giudecca, the abandoned industrial area of the Junghans factory has been turned into a residential neighborhood. Cino Zucchi, winner of the competition for its development, designed five variations on the theme of housing. Text by Mirko Zardini.


G1-G2 residential building, ex Junghans area

Full screen HD. The D building is a new construction which substitutes an utilitarian building on the corner between two canals. An existing brick chimney is integrated in the design as a testimonial of the industrial past. The cubical mass of the new building is excavated on the south side by a triangular court, an intimate space which leads from the public path to the central core of the vertical distribution. The building, founded on steel piles, is built in load-bearing masonry and reinforced concrete.


Giudecca in Venice

In the center of the Giudecca island in Venice, an abandoned industrial site is transformed into a residential area. Cino Zucchi, winner in of a competition for the transformation of the former Junghans factory, a German company that produced watches, then reconverted into a factory of war devices. He drafted the master plan and designed five variations on the theme of living. A part of the new housing was destined for a university residence, while the other part was sold on the free market.

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